Sunday, July 20, 2014


The theme for this short story was Tales from the Doghouse, stories about the other mutant bounty hunters that appear in the background of the 2000AD Strontium Dog series. I came second with this story and it's one that I was quite pleased with. I thought the misdirect of the villain's attention worked reasonably well and the link between my title and the barmaid's name was neat. See what you think


The bar was empty and Billings relaxed as he walked through the door. No need to watch his back in here.

"What can I get you?" asked the Barmaid.

"Saturn ale and a shot of Black. Quiet night?"

"Won't get busy until the off-world transport gets here tomorrow."

A transport that was likely to be carrying bounty hunters. He would need to be gone by the time they arrived. Still, no reason why he couldn't have a little fun tonight.

"Anyone ever tell you that you have lovely eyes?" he asked.

"Yeah, but not usually guys on their first drink of the night," she replied with a smile.

Pretty nice smile too, thought Billings. "Have a drink with me?"

"Well as it's quiet I'll have a small Janx spirit. Thank you."

As she turned to the bottles the bar door opened and a figure wearing a wide brimmed hat and dark glasses walked in.

"Beer" he said as he took a seat in a booth.

Billings watched him closely in the bar mirror as the barmaid served the newcomer his drink and walked back to the bar.

"I'm Anansi. Thanks for the drink." She held out her hand.

"Name's Kelso. Nice to meet you." Her hand felt cool to the touch. This was looking very promising, if he could just keep an eye on that guy in the booth.

"So what brings you to Zamora, Kelso?"

"I'm on ... "

What was his cover story again? The man in the booth had removed his hat but still wore the glasses. What was he hiding?

"I'm on business. I sell skimmer parts." Time for a bit more of that legendary Billings charm,
"That's a very pretty broach you're wearing."

"Thank you, Kelso. And when you're not selling? What do you do for fun?"

Billings wiped sweat from his forehead. Why couldn't he think clearly?

"Fun? I don't know. Err... do you get many mutants in here?"

"Mutants? Not many. They bother you?"

"No bother at all. Not when they're dead. That's what I call fun. Robbing and killing those weird looking scum. That's why they call me Kelso 'killing' Billings."

Why was he saying this?

The man in the booth threw some credits on the table and walked out of the door.

"Mutant killer. I guess that must make you a wanted man?"

"I'm wanted for multiple counts of murder. I'm guilty as hell and there's a 100,000 credit bounty on my head."

He couldn't stop himself, the words were just tumbling out.

"I think that should be enough," Anansi smiled and touched a button on her broach. The letters SD swam before Billings' eyes as she fastened the cuffs on his wrists.

"You've been messing with my mind. You're one of them, but you look so ... so normal?"

Her eyes flashed red, "That's right, creep. Some of us are just different on the inside. And that means last orders for you."

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